argus cycle tour
Yesterday was the Cape Town cycle tour (formally the Argus cycle tour). Normally it is a 109km ride around beautiful Cape Town, but because of the recent fires they took the drastic (and very understandable) decision to shorten it to a 47km ride through Cape town (from the city bowl to the bottom of the M3 and back).
I normally watch the ride form the bottom of my road (I used to ride it myself but have stopped since I discovered running). But today I took a short run to watch the bicycles coming past.
The ride was in solidarity to all the firemen who have bravely spent the past week fighting the fires, so a lot of people were wearing red, and even dressing up as firemen.
An early group
Be careful what you wish for, because you might get it. On Sunday I wished for a wind-free day, and that is exactly what I got. However I didn’t wish for the temperature to go over 40 deg C, but it did!
By now you probably know that I cycled in the Pick n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour on Sunday. This was my 6th tour, and I clearly have an ability to pick interesting weather. Oh, how I would love to have a race in cool and wind-free weather. But not this year! Just to give you an example of some of the recent tours that I have completed:
- 2012: temperature peaked at 42 deg C
- 2010: howling wind (but not as bad as 2009)
- 2009: howling wind (over 120km/h – higher that what I experienced in hurricane Irene in USA 2011)
- 2006: rained (and crashed but still finished)
Maybe, just maybe next year will be great weather.
Relaxing before the start
While I didn’t take any pictures on the road, here are a couple (mostly) from the start line, and all on my phone (no my SLR does not go on the race with me). I hope this gives you a small taste of the feeling of being part of the 31324 cyclists that finished. There are so many people that while the first cyclists leave at 6:15am, the last leave after 10:30am which is after the first cyclists have already finished!
My group starting to assemble at the start line
The race leaves in groups of about 500, spread out every few minutes. My group left at 9:16am, and it was already sweltering. I drank over 9l water on the route, which is about what I usually drink in an entire week.
At the start line, about 5 minutes before my group started on the 110km route
The end, now I can relax for the next year, or at least until the 2 Oceans half marathon next month.
On Sunday, I will be cycling in my 5th Pick n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour, or just the Argus as everybody knows it as. The tour, which is 109 km long, winds itself around Cape Town. Approximately 38000 people will be riding in the race, which to my knowledge is the longest timed cycle event in the world, and probably the only cycling event to span two oceans.
It is an amazing event to be part of, the roads are closed, thousands of people arrive to support us on, and you get to cycle on the most beautiful scenery in the world. These are a few pictures taken over the past few years, some while watching, and some while participating in the event itself. I hope it gives you a feel for the event.
Main Road (before permanent road-works caused the Boyes Drive detour)
My Friend Zilani, the hand cyclist
A large bunch coming past
The Bar One Girls cheer you on and hand out free chocolates
One of the many refueling stops
There are many physios on duty to help the tired legs
A few extra hills here, thanks to the previously mentioned road works.
If you are in Cape Town, I hope you will either be on a bike, or supporting us as we come past. Good luck to all the cyclists, ride safe and I will see you on the road on Sunday.
I missed the Argus Cycle tour this year, but watching the race has finally inspired me to get back onto my bike! Yesterday I went for a 45km cycle, as I did last weekend as well! I hope that I keep it up, because I plan to be back in the race next year.
You may have noticed me mentioning the howling South-Easter on this blog, but for the next couple of months the wind dies down completely. It is the best time to go cycling. The early mornings are wonderfully cool, and completely wind-free.